Even though I have been ill for several days I can still appreciate good computer components and perhaps one of the most overlooked is the case. A sturdy case constructed out of quality materials and supplying a superior design, giving thought to heat and cable management and of course looks. So today I was sick…but happy as the first component of my newest computer build came via UPS. The Thermaltake Armor+ VH6000BWS.
Before anything else, just let me say this case is fracken huge! (I put a 2 liter bottle beside it for comparison). The dimensions on this case are 23.6in Wide/9.6in Deep/24.6in High. If you are wanting a dainty, little box to house a way to send email, this isn’t it. The construction is about 99% steel and the Armor+ weighs in at 40 lbs…….empty! The case market lately has decided to go with mostly aluminum for higher end enthusiast cases but unless you plan on dragging your rig with you to LAN parties, etc…steel is still a wonderful option that lowers the overall cost of your case at the sacrifice of a little (or sometimes a bunch)weight.
The packing is well done and my case arrived without any cosmetic or structural damage. (Always a good thing.) It was adequately suspended by foam supports as well wrapped in a double layer of plastic and synthetic material. The clear window is protected by static cling shielding.
The front of the case is stylish yet understated and gives access to seven of the 14 available drive bays. The doors swing outward, are constructed of steel and feel very sturdy. If you would rather remove them, as they exist primarily for decorative purposes, it is easily done with a simple, sliding pin mechanism.
The top of the case is well vented in the back while the front offers ease of access to familiar connections and power. Sliding back the top cover reveals a small storage area. This area is designed to be easily removed to accommodate the pump and reservoir for a liquid cooling system.
Power and reset buttons
Fire wire and four USB 2.0 ports
Power and HDD Activity Blue LEDs
Mic and Headphone jacks
Installing a bay device into one of the front bays is tool less and access to the bay is accomplished by simply lifting out on the cover and removing. Each cover is grilled and has a dust filter on the inside.
The back shows the top mount PSU area, punch outs for optional water cooling, air outtake grill and ten tool less expansion slots!
Nifty keys for your side panel
The clear lockable side panel (with a handle that makes opening a snap) sports a sleeved 230mm 800 rpm Blue LED fan and an embossed Thermaltake Logo.
The inside of the case is extremely spacious with plenty of room for even the largest add on cards such as the foot long Radeon 5970 and the huge CPU coolers needed for extreme air cooling, like the enormous Noctura NH-D14 pictured below.
Also inside the case we can access the additional 7 bay enclosures. The five bay cage is completely removable from the chassis by using two thumb screws and the additional two bays are seen in the bottom vented cages. The two bottom bays can be easily removed as well and replaced with two 120mmx25mm or 140mmx25mm fans..(which is what Iâ€™ll be doing) Removing the five bay cage also gives you access to the front 140mm 1000rpm Blue LED FAN
The back exhaust is accomplished by a 120mm 1300rpm fan and the inside top grill is designed to accept an optional 120mm or 140mm fan for venting the rising heat, through the top. (also what Iâ€™ll be doing) I should note that the included 3 fans are of a good quality, sleeved and very quiet with none of them topping the 17 dBA range. (Iâ€™m pretty sure that the additional four 140mm Yate Loon fans plus the two Noctura fans on the CPU cooler I plan to install will raise that considerably.)
The PSU support rail is engineered to take the big boy power supplys (1000 watt+) by a extendable support, managed by thumb screw and the connecters to the front jacks and power are all clearly marked with lots of length.
The motherboard compartment is a sliding tray as you would expect on an enthusiast case and the added handle is a much appreciated addition making removal and insertion much easier with a fully loaded tray. The tray and slide are well made, sturdy and smooth. Behind the tray you have about an inch of recess for cable management and the tray itself sports several well placed cutouts for routing problem cables as well as tie downs. The tray supports micro ATX through EATX/CEB. The hard drive cage is open to the rear making for easier connection and cable management.
The accessories package is nice and includes a lot of extras. A drive bay drawer, an upscale to 5.25in conversion bracket for 3.5in devices and faceplate. There is a bracket for an additional 140mm/120mm fan that mounts on the board side of the hard drive cage and a bag of ties, anchors, clips and screws, thumb nuts etc for cable management and securing bay devices, etc…
All in all I am very pleased with the Thermaltake Armor+ 6000. It is a case for the builder who needs to maximize space and airflow due to multiple cards and overclocking. It is easily upgraded to liquid cooling, again with all the space needed to run tubing to various water blocks without worry of kinks or cramping. My only two gripes about the board are small. The case is entirely tool less except for the removal of the motherboard tray. This is accomplished by removing 4 small screws with a screwdriver and I wish these had simply been thumbscrews. I also wish the inside of the case had been painted black. It is a a stronger and more finished look for cases and more and more manufacturers are doing it. Overall these gripes are small. I can purchase some thumbscrews for the motherboard tray and in the next several days I will start complete disassembly of the case including drilling out the rivets so that I can paint mod the inside something a bit more to my liking. Sorry if your just not “that” into PCs and the review bored you. I figured there had to be some enthusiasts out there that I wasn’t aware of and plus this is a way to get pictures etc… of equipment to
my ninjas in Texasâ€ŚOni and Jarred and the omnipotent Thomas in Cali who get a thrill outta FPS and clockspeed like I do.